Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - The Time Machine

Randy Seaver, over at GeneaMusings brings us yet another great SNGF challenge!

"Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Determine which event in your ancestral history that you would love to be a witness to via a Time Machine. Assume that you could observe the event, but not participate in it.

2) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook."

Wow! There are so many great events that I would like to have been there for... that I am certainly not sure which one right away to choose from!

So... after giving this a little careful thought, I decided that I'd like to climb into my Time Machine and head way to...
1803. To a mountainside in Monroe County, [West] Virginia. To a couple named William and Sarah Bean. At this time, they have at least two young sons, and possibly a third: John, William and Roy.

In the next year William Bean, the elder, will die and leave Sarah a widow with three young sons to raise alone. No money. And only a rocky, cliff-like dwelling to call home, along a valley that is filled with tumbled boulders from thousands of years before. Nothing can be raised here but goats, and a little timber cut. That is all.

It is this time I'd like to come to, prior to William's death, so that I could sit down with him and find out about his ancestry. Where he actually came from; Ireland? Scotland? What part did he play in the American Revolution? [It is passed down through the family that he fought against the Americans in the war, after being conscripted into service and brough here against his will.]

Could I take a notebook with me on this time journey? If so... I'd take meticulous notes of his ancestry. Find out about his childhood. His courting the daughter of the wealthy James Bane, and eventually marrying her.

Was there bad blood between Sarah and her father? Is that why he left her only one pound in his will? And why doesn't she turn to her family when William dies? Could I, knowing what is to come, convince her to turn to their aid later?

Is there some way I could prevent those young boys from being separated from their mother next year, when she is forced due to lack of funds to place them all in indenture-ship? John in February, as the eldest, to learn farming. William and Roy in September, to learn blacksmithing.

Roy runs away and is never heard from again. What happened to this little boy?

So much tragedy and heart ache will come to this family in such a short time! How could I go back and not attempt to change the hands of fate???

Ahhh... but if I did... would I then cease to exist? Simply changing the fates to the point where I might never be?

Perhaps it is a good thing that we cannot do this... but how I would love to know William's story!

The gentle giant... the man... the husband... the father.

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